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Eleanor Pontoriero

Terms Hierarchical complementarity -a term used by Ambedkar to describe the hierarchical structure of class society in the Hindu tradition. He came to recognize an unrelenting hierarchy in Hindu tradition which necessarily led to oppression, which caused him to convert to Buddhism. Hindu dharma can be construed to endorse a view of society as functioning under a type of social organization called hierarchical complementarily, such that people have different but complementary roles within the society based on caste, gender, and life stage, and such that relations between people of different castes, genders, and ages are hierarchically defined. Another world tradition that functions under a similar model is Confucianism. The immediate cause of his conversion to Buddhism was his realization that after twelve years of working successfully to open all of Indias temples to members of every caste, thereby ending the practice of excluding those people who belong to the castes considered most impure (untouchables), the status of these low-caste people remained unchanged in the eyes of their fellow Hindus. The degrading treatment and the abuse of members of the untouchable castes continued. Individual egalitarianism -Individual egalitarianism is the concept that every single independent individual person separate from other persons and possessing his or her own needs or goals should be treated as equal from birth, usually meaning held equal under the law and in society at large. It is a belief in human equality, especially with respect to social, political and economic rights and privileges, and advocates the removal of inequalities among people and of discrimination (on grounds such as race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc). Dehumanization -During times of conflict or war, conventional moral and ethical codes concerning the treatment of others are often challenged. Dehumanization is the deliberate removal of sympathetic human traits when referring to members of an opposing ideology, race, political party or other source of conflict. Adolf Hitlers references to Jews as vermin or rats is one example of dehumanization in action. Dehumanization is to make somebody less human by taking away his or her individuality, the creative and interesting aspects of his or her personality, or his or her compassion and sensitivity towards others. It may be directed by an organization (such as a state) or may be the composite of individual sentiments and actions, as with some types of racism. State-organized dehumanization has been directed against perceived racial or ethnic groups, nationalities or foreigners, religious groups, genders, minorities of various sexual orientations, disabled people as a class, economic and social classes, and many conflicts. The enemy forces are often described as extremists, rebels or terrorists, while friendly forces are described as troops or freedom fighters. This method allows the public to override their natural aversions to conflict by perceiving their enemies as inhuman. Once the enemy has been stripped of humanity and becomes an object worthy of punishment, the idea of mistreating or even destroying this threat becomes morally justifiable. Dehumanization tactics also tap into a persons innate prejudices, such as by creating the character of the Muslim extremist or the Jewish threat. It is far easier to justify the annihilation of a caricature than an actual race or religion. Dehumanization is one of the two principle anti-Semitic strands, dating from the time of medieval Christianity, are apparent in anti- Israeli sentiment. "the modern experiment" Text: Jurgen Moltmann - a political experiment which aims to create a more secular society - mainly associated with Christianity, more specifically, Catholicism; freedom from the Church which holds a great deal of power - enlightenment - grounding human rights on God's right goes against the modern experiment to separate society from religious morals; thinking of morals as a duty to humanity rather than to God or higher power - Moltmann writes very descriptively about the role of religion in the political sphere and what role it plays in democracy - challenges political hierarchy and the idea of the modern experiment: "Human beings do not exist for the sake of rule; rule rather exists for the sake of human beings." universalism Text: Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights - definition: loyalty to and concern for others without regard to national or other allegiances - this text is an extension of the original UN Declaration of Human Rights that outlines all the various human rights (first, second and third generations) to promote friendly relations between humans, religions, societies and nations - text uses original UNDHR to emphasize religious morals under Islam, however they apply to every human equally, despite religious affiliation right to participate or not to participate, as well as the right to freedom of belief cultural relativism Text: Sallie B. King - the principle that ones beliefs are affected directly by the beliefs and ideas of their society; the understanding of others (different or similar) varies on the cultural ideals - issue between Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma provides a good example of how cultural relativism can be problematic - pg. 123 - 125 Jurgen Moltmann (A Christian Declaration on Human Rights) -emphasis on how Christianity, at its very best, actually contributes in a positive way (to public service) -promote sensitivity of human rights -liberation theologian perspective (emphasis on the prophetic) -looks at the aim of Christian theology and the Church -grounding human rights in divine human relations -transcend human rights and duties defined in modern human rights secular discourse (go beyond where there may be limitations in discourse and stand for the dignity of human beings in their life with God) -duties exceed that of the citizen -New Testament brings out the struggle for liberation from enslavements -defines Christian theological foundations of human rights as liberation (freedom and social justice) and restoring human dignity -aim is to restore human dignity in the image of God -looks at human rights from a Christian perspective (individual states and communities are only really legitimized by human rights) -differentiates moral sphere from the social/political sphere -indivisibility of rights and duties (written into the Declaration at Vienna) -aims to restore human dignity by addressing injustice (economic/social political) -the rights of human beings to life, freedom and self-determination always arise together with the human communitys claim upon people -addresses limitations of secular, liberal humanism and liberalism and its emphasis on individualism by fostering universal community in diversity -addresses community with non-human creation and ecological duties (responsibility of future generations to have respect for the earth)-this relates to third generation rights and sustainable development -means of production in the hands of a few is a distortion (desecration of the image of God) -fuelled by ideological abuse, he redefines the notion of sin (a human rights violation where people are stripped of their dignity) -human rights are made real through the process or service of reconciliation Riffat Hassan (Rights of Women Within Islamic Communities) -noted that the Western origin and orientation of the UN Declaration/ the universality of assumptions on which it is based is problematic and subject to questioning -the fact that the UN doesnt acknowledge religion as a source of human rights points to critical law in the orientation of the UN -1994 UN International Conference on Population and Development in Cairio (noted that religion, culture and ethics were relevant factors in population planning and development-shift in UN from wholly secular mindset) -underlying the rejection of equality in Muslim societies are 3 beliefs 1.Women are inferior to men in creation (having been created by a crooked rib) 2. Women are inferior to men in righteousness 3. Having been created mainly to be of use to men who are superior to them -Quran acknowledges right to privacy, the right to acquire knowledge, right to leave ones homeland under oppressive conditions -schism between rights accorded to women in Quranic Islam and cultural and historical biases undermining womens status -while the Quran, because of its protective attitude towards all oppressed classes, appears to be weighted to favour women, many of its women related teachings have been used in patriarchal Muslim societies against women -Muslim societies appear to be more concerned with protecting womens bodies than their human rights -although Quranic legislation aims at protecting rights of women in marriage, the husband is the wifes gateway to heaven and hell -Quran presents the idea of no fault divorce but Muslim societies have made divorce extremely difficult for women, both legally and through social penalties -purpose of Quranic legislation dealing with womens dress and conduct was to make it safe for women to go about their daily business BUT Muslim societies have put many of them behind veils and shrouds and locked doors on the pretext of protecting their chastity (forgetting that according to the Quran, confinement to their homes was not a normal way of life for chaste women but punishment for unchastity) Fatima Mernissi (Hassans article-Rights of Women Within Islamic Communities) -Moroccan Feminist writer and sociologist -made observations on the position of the Muslim woman in relation to her family in modern Morroco -Muslim men have always had more rights than Muslim women, including the right to kill women -man imposed on the woman a narrow existence, both physically and spiritually -one of the dis
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